Thoughts on R' Yishmael and R' Shimon Bar Yochai
אמר אביי הרבה עשו כרבי ישמעאל ועלתה בידן כר' שמעון בן יוחי ולא עלתה בידן
Summing up this dispute, Abaye said: Although there is room for both opinions, many have acted in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, and combined working for a living and learning Torah, and although they engaged in activities other than the study of Torah, were successful in their Torah study. Many have acted in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai and were not successful in their Torah study. They were ultimately forced to abandon their Torah study altogether.
***What's particularly interesting about Abaye's psak in this case is that it seems to be based on a scientific approach. We have two hypotheses about cause and effect presented by two rabbis. Instead of the third one being machria based on his own judgment about what makes sense to him in interpreting the verses, he basically puts it to the test. He observes what happens in general to those who follow the Torah only regimen vs. what happens to those who follow the balanced diet regimen. After tallying the results, he very scientifically concludes that even though both theories have merit, from a practical standpoint one works better for most people. ***
This is not a diatribe against kollel. I was kollel wife myself for few years. But I didn't choose to marry the man who said he would learn in kollel. I chose to learn the man with a cheshek to learn Torah ( see his blog) that remained with him even when he had to work full time to support his family. Just as I have said that you don't marry a resume (see http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2011/11/you-dont-marry-shidduch-resume.html) you don't marry a mission statement. You marry a person for his/her inherent qualities.
Related posts: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2016/05/hadassim-for-shabbos-thoughts-for-lag.html
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